CN: 32-1845/R
ISSN: 2095-6975
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Prasad R. Dandawate, Dharmalingam Subramaniam, Subhash B. Padhye, Shrikant Anant. Bitter melon:a panacea for inflammation and cancer[J]. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, 2016, 14(2): 81-100

Bitter melon:a panacea for inflammation and cancer

Prasad R. Dandawate1,2, Dharmalingam Subramaniam1,2,3, Subhash B. Padhye4, Shrikant Anant1,2,3
1 Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA;
2 Department of Surgery, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA;
3 The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA;
4 Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Research Academy, Abeda Inamdar Senior College, Azam Campus, Pune 411001, India
Nature is a rich source of medicinal plants and their products that are useful for treatment of various diseases and disorders. Momordica charantia, commonly known as bitter melon or bitter gourd, is one of such plants known for its biological activities used in traditional system of medicines. This plant is cultivated in all over the world, including tropical areas of Asia, Amazon, east Africa, and the Caribbean and used as a vegetable as well as folk medicine. All parts of the plant, including the fruit, are commonly consumed and cooked with different vegetables, stir-fried, stuffed or used in small quantities in soups or beans to give a slightly bitter flavor and taste. The plant is reported to possess anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-obesity, and immunomodulatory activities. The plant extract inhibits cancer cell growth by inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, autophagy and inhibiting cancer stem cells. The plant is rich in bioactive chemical constituents like cucurbitane type triterpenoids, triterpene glycosides, phenolic acids, flavonoids, essential oils, saponins, fatty acids, and proteins. Some of the isolated compounds(Kuguacin J, Karaviloside XI, Kuguaglycoside C, Momordicoside Q-U, Charantin, α-eleostearic acid) and proteins(α-Momorcharin, RNase MC2, MAP30) possess potent biological activity. In the present review, we are summarizing the anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activities of Momordica charantia along with a short account of important chemical constituents, providing a basis for establishing detail biological activities of the plant and developing novel drug molecules based on the active chemical constituents.
Key words:    Momordica charantia    Bitter melon    Anti-oxidant activity    Anti-inflammatory activity    Anti-cancer activity    Natural products   
Received: 2015-10-04   Revised:
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